Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Common Questions about Marathon and Our Products
Below is a list of common questions related to our company and our products along with some helpful answers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please call us toll-free at 800.633.8974. We’re happy to help!
Answer: With 44 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, Marathon knows what you need to develop your business and satisfy your customers. In order to remain a strong partner for you, we provide many other offerings to you besides equipment:
The Value of Marathon...More Than Just Equipment
Dedicated Sales Manager in Your Region Familiar with your market, available to make joint sales calls with you, and trained throughout the year about new equipment and industry issues.
Extensive, Fully-Supported Warranty & Service Programs
The largest dedicated service staff in the industry, with field service support available.
Targeted Distributor / Hauler Sales Force Training
Your Marathon Sales Manager can provide on-site training for your sales force with learning tools that includes Workbooks and illustrative Video Sessions.
Professional, Complete Sales Material For Your Sales Force
Authorized Marathon Distributors and Haulers receive Equipment sales videos, operational product videos and complete product catalogs with four-color literature, product specifications, drawings, warranty and financing information, consultive worksheets, product manuals, and pricing.
All Equipment Carefully Engineered
To conform with or exceed all applicable industry standards (ie: UL, CUL, CSA, ANSI)
Flexible Payment Terms
And creative rental, leasing & financing programs
Strong Marketing Support
National advertising, equipment exhibits at major industry trade shows around the world, internal telemarketing staff, and an in-house literature department to respond to hauler and distributor sales material needs.
Professional Service Schools For Your Staff
Superior Financial Strength As A Dover Industries Company 24 Hour Parts Response Product Design Customization
Answer: Building a Legacy of Performance, Innovation, Quality and Service
Marathon Equipment Company, known throughout the world as a leading manufacturer of on-site waste compaction and recycling systems, began one evening in early 1966 as Lawson Acton, refuse hauling contractor, and Jack Wright, a manufacturer of car washes, were talking over the back fence. Acton wasn't happy with the stationary compactors of the day because they were built like "battleships", with complicated electrical and hydraulic systems. Only the "wealthy few" could afford them, which automatically left out retailers, shopping malls and smaller industrial companies.
Acton envisioned a compactor which utilized material better and more economically priced within the reach of his waiting market. Combining his idea with Wright's manufacturing expertise, the first RamJet® compactor was born.
It was a struggle for the fledgling company that began producing compactors in its first "factory", an abandoned service station in 1967. Both resistance from a "wait and see" market and competitive activity combined to make the first years in Birmingham, Alabama, very difficult.
The obvious advantages of Marathon's more efficient use of materials finally began winning out, and the firm stepped up to a 7,000 sq. ft. plant, then 20,000 sq. ft. and in 1975, to their present facility in Vernon, Alabama. Since 1975, the company has continued its growth by expanding the original 80,000 sq. ft. in Alabama to the present 150,000 sq. ft. In December 1985, Marathon opened its second new plant in Yerington, Nevada, which was expanded in the spring of 1994 from its original 30,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. In November 1989, Marathon opened its third manufacturing plant in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with 92,000 sq. ft. of floor space.
Privately held for its first 23 years, Marathon was acquired in 1990 by Dover Industries, a diversified industrial manufacturing company and wholly owned subsidiary of Dover Corporation which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Marathon has grown in the area of product development since the acquisition. In addition to the RamJet® compactors and container product line, Marathon produces and offers a full line of vertical, horizontal and two ram balers through the NEXGEN® brand.
Innovation never stops at Marathon! Over the years Marathon has been the leader in product development. Below are some examples of MECO's journey:
Brian Nadel was appointed President of Marathon Equipment in January 2009.
Mike Beuke was named Vice President of Operations March 24, 2008. The NEXGEN ACS was developed. Added DRC to the GreenBuilt line. Company wide "green" initiative developed the slogan "Going Green isn't a Sprint, it's a Marathon". BlokPak installed in Ecuador. Implemented a lean enterprise manufacturing program (Value Stream. Kaizen. Journey. Cultural Change. Lean). Marathon President, Gordon Shaw, elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA). Bill Wilkerson, Marathon’s Vice-president of Sales and Marketing, was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC).
Marathon celebrated its 40th Anniversary and adopted the theme: Building a Legacy of Performance, Innovation, Quality and Service.
In an effort to step up the "green" initiative, Marathon introduced the GreenBuilt™ products such as the Solar Powered Power Unit and displayed it at Waste Expo in Atlanta, Ga. The solar powered power unit can be used on several products including the Vert-I-Pack®, self-contained compactors, and stationary compactors up to 10 HP. A 5 HP Submerged Power Unit was also introduced with environmentally friendly, biodegradable oil.
Launched new Vertical Baler design with a submerged power unit, side-mounted power unit, and other features for ease of use and maintenance.
Mike Beuke was named Vice President of Operations.
The theme "Listening Today, Implementing Tomorrow" was introduced in 2006 illustrating Marathon's commitment to putting innovation and technology into our products quickly and efficiently. One such innovation was the QwikClean® Door for self- contained compactors. This new option allows access to the chamber behind the compactor for easy clean-out. NEXGEN launched the Raz-R™ Mobile Shear that adds to our scrap processing equipment product line. Marathon president, Gordon Shaw, was inducted into the Environmental Association's (EIA) Hall of Fame for his contributions to the waste industry for more than 25 years. Marathon also went "green" in 2006 with the launch of the environmentally friendly GreenBuilt™ options for self-contained compactors.
2005 was an exciting year with the branding of several product lines. The NEXGEN line of Auto-Tie balers was branded the TIEger™ Series Auto-Tie Balers. These feature the TIEger® gear driven tieing system. Also, a complete redesign of the Two-Ram Balers with the introduction of the brand name GALAXY2R® Series Two-Ram Balers. Marathon's conveyor line was also branded EZ-Trax™.
Marathon's parts department was named Parts1Stop®.
Re-branding our recycling systems under the name NEXGEN Baling Systems. Along with the NEXGEN launch came a new web site, www.NEXGENbalers.com, literature and other marketing materials.
A new auto-tie baler design was introduced in order to make NEXGEN more competitive in the auto-tie market. The most dramatic change being a single cylinder tensioning system and a gear driven tier, a first for American manufacturers.
Gordon Shaw was appointed President of Marathon Equipment in January 2003. Marathon introduced the Mini-MAC® Apartment Compactor and the Apollo Two-Ram Baler. Hired two industry veterans to help revitalize our recycling systems. Joe Szany joined Marathon as Director of Sales for Recycling Systems and Jim Cunningham became Director of Engineering for Recycling Systems. Margaret Wallace received the Environmental Industry Associations, Sales & Marketing Employee of the Year. Gordon Shaw received "Member of the Year" Award from WASTEC and the Environmental Industries Association.
Ed Furnari retired as President of Marathon in December 2002. Ed Furnari inducted into the Environmental Industry Association (EIA) Hall of Fame.
Opened a plant in Fayette, Alabama, to build conveyor systems. Gemini-Xtreme, Dollar General - Stockroom Baler, and ME-66 re-designed. Introduced installation service for our National Accounts. Shawnna Romans received the Environmental Industry Associations, Sales & Marketing Employee of the Year. Untouchable VIP introduced.
Marathon's stationary compactors have been the standard of the industry for more than 30 years. To further demonstrate a commitment to quality and service, in 2000, Marathon introduced high value components to their standard compactors without increasing the price. These components are featured on the 2, 3 and 4 cubic yard compactors (except VL models) such as the popular RJ-225 Stationary Compactor.
Wesley Harmon received the Environmental Industry Associations, Sales & Marketing Employee of the Year.
To provide for continued growth in the Western U.S. and export markets, Marathon Equipment Company is expanding their Yerington, Nevada production facility for the third time in three years (a 9,000+ sq. feet addition, bringing the total square footage to 60,000). Gordon Shaw named Chairman of WASTEC.
Marathon's 1999 year was full of changes and additions. Perfection was improved on the VIP. Marathon made the series even better by making each unit reversible and adjustable. It has the same great benefits as the original VIP's, plus more. Now the packer head can be used in a front or rear feed application. Another plus is the height can be easily changed to accommodate 4, 6, or 8 yard containers. In March, Marathon announced its acquisition of Reduction Technology, Inc. This merger would allow Marathon to enter the volume reduction market on a larger scale. Shredders, grinders and granulators were added to Marathon's already wide range of equipment.
The Stealth® baler was also introduced in 1999 as the most affordable horizontal baler on the market. The price is light, but the baler is not, so why pay more? The new horizontal closed end baler is specially designed for baling corrugated cardboard, 2 to 3 tons per hour. The large feed opening of 46" x 60" allows for a variety of sizes of materials to be baled. The Stealth produces bale sizes in excess of 1600 lbs. and is easily tied off with the option of tying through the door or sides. By placing a high priority on listening to the customer, relying on employee teams for creating ideas and solutions and applying "World Class" principles into every work area, Marathon's work force of over 550 people is able to develop high quality, innovative equipment for specific customer needs while providing top-notch customer service.
Evolving from the TS-2000, Marathon installed its first BlokPak 3000® Transfer System in Blackfoot, Idaho. The BlokPak® was designed for even higher volume transfer station applications. The BlokPak is capable of processing 90 tons per hour of continuous operation. Jimmy Pipkins received the Environmental Industry Associations, Manufacturing Employee of the Year. Merchant Resource Network Awards Marathon Equipment Company the Simon "Seal of Superiority in June 1999.
In 1998, Marathon presented the TS-2000, the industries first affordable transfer station system. The advantages of the TS-2000 are numerous. Maximum payloads are made possible because compaction takes place in the large charge box with Marathon's patented Automatic Density Regulator (ADR) system. This eliminates the need for tamping and minimizes associated trailer damage and maintenance costs. Tremendous savings on start-up costs are also a plus with this system because the TS-2000 requires little site preparation.
Marathon's 30th Birthday! New addition to the Rampro line: the extremely affordable Gemini 3560 Crossed Cylinder Baler. The product was an instant success as a result of responding to the market need for low-cost balers. The TrashMinder™ Monitoring Systems are introduced. The TrashMinder is more technically advanced and provides more features and user benefits. Value Line product line developed adding the keenly priced 250VL self-contained, the 225VL and 400VL stationary compactors and value line octagon compaction container.
Marathon announced the most significant change to compactors in several decades. To improve serviceability and ease-of-use, Marathon designed, engineered and launched a revolutionary new Stationary Compactor design change - the Side Mount Power Pack. This new design gives customers the ease -of- installation of an internal power pack, with the ease-of-maintenance of a remote power pack. Marathon also announced that its standard models of stationary and self-contained compactors can now be purchased totally UL listed (not just the panel boxes)!
Marathon introduced its World Class Greaseless Hoist at the EIA Waste Expo tradeshow! Introduction of the newest and most economical Two-Ram...the TR-8/40. The TR8/40 meets the growing demand for powerful, efficient balers which cost less than $100,000. In today's tough recycling environment, the TR-8 is an important addition to the RamPro product line.
To respond to customer requests, Marathon designed an Auger product. But rather than copying existing Auger products, Marathon developed the patented Aug-Jet. The Aug-Jet is the first product to combine the crushing power of an Auger with the compaction force of a ram. Ed Furnari was named President of Marathon.
Kent Spiers, Marathon's Vice President of Engineering, was honored with the Distinguished Member award from the Environmental Industry Association for his active involvement in defining and setting standards for the industry. The RE-800VRM Rotary Recycler™ was first introduced by Marathon at the NRC tradeshow. The Rotary Recycler is a unique new concept in Recycling equipment to reduce the volume of space required for recyclables and to improve baling.
RAMJET's innovative Streamline™ Series Roll-Off Self-Contained Compactor/Containers offer all the advantages of other Marathon ROSCs plus the added benefit of extracting liquids to reduce weight and thereby significantly reducing disposal costs.
Marathon offers a line of Two-Ram Balers beginning with a 9" cylinder. The TR-9 and a 50 HP power pack, are "team designed and team built" for those customers who insist upon Marathon quality. Value Line product line developed adding the keenly priced 250VL self-contained, the 225VL and 400VL stationary compactors and value line octagon compaction container. Gordon Fenner retired as President. Grant Fenner was named President March 1, 1993.
Side- Eject Horizontal Baler, incorporates unique and patented features which save time, labor and space to increase the efficiency of processing recyclables.
Roll-Off Hoists added to the product line in four models. M.I.S.E.R., Marathon Information System for Efficient Recycling, a computerized container fullness monitoring system to maximize efficiency and minimize waste disposal costs.
DRC II, Dual Recycling Compactor, a self-contained compactor/container with separated storage compartments and automatic adjusting to accommodate volume differences. Marathon President, Gordon Fenner, inducted into the EIA Hall of Fame.
Trash Commander®, the decade's newest concept in Horizontal Compactors, uses no limit switches or pressure switches to control the machine's operation, thereby reducing maintenance. Furthermore, the innovative power pack design permits easy interchangability of 10 to 15 HP power packs as well as location from either the left or right hand side of the compactor while being safely contained for security purposes.
M-Series Liquid Extruding Systems that extrude liquids for recycling or reducing disposal costs. Multi-Option Recycler (MOR), a recycling container offering a menu of loading openings and options.
Recycler Vertical Baler, offered important and unique innovations for the newly emerging recycling industry, such as front bale tie-off that conserves floor space. Patented double hinge on unitized compactor/containers for extended seal life and single ratchet door sealing.
CYCON®, the patented cycle control system that does not depend on expensive-to- maintain pressure or limit switches to control the ram, produces superior payloads for reduced disposal costs. Patented double hinge on unitized compactor/containers for extended seal life and single ratchet door sealing.
To complement our RJ-100SC Self-Contained Compactor/Containers, Marathon invented the RJ-250SC. The unique twin scissor cylinder design provided for a shorter packer body and resulted in a larger, easier to load charge box and greater container capacity to reduce expensive trips to the disposal site.
Nestable octagon-shaped Open Tops allow 4 to 10 full- length containers, depending on size, to be transported on one truck to reduce freight charges.
The Vert-I-Pack®, for front or rear loader container systems, became a legend in the industry because it increased productivity. Operators were no longer required to get out of the cab to disconnect hoses or lids. Also, the VIP reduced vehicle maintenance costs since only the loaded container and not the heavy packing mechanism needed to be lifted to unload.
Unitized compactor and container, the RJ-100SC Self-Contained Compactor was designed to handle wet wastes, like that found in grocery stores and hospitals, without the need for a separate compactor and separate container. The RJ-100SC enables large quantities of waste to be contained without liquid leakage.
"S-Curved" compactor First manufacturer to certify all its compactors to be in compliance with ANSI Z241.1 safety standards.
Gordon Fenner named President of Marathon.
Octagon-shaped compaction container introduced
Stress engineered guided ram compactor weighing 50% less than those produced in the most efficient manner in its time with lead times half that of its competitors.
Answer: Size of Waste - Is the Feed Opening (Clear Top) large enough to accommodate the largest items without bridging?
Recyclables - Is there sufficient volume of recyclable materials to warrant removing them from the waste stream? Recycling equipment or additional compaction equipment may be needed.
Safety Standards - Does the installation comply with recommended ANSI standards? Is there a 42" high barrier between the user and the charge box? Is there an access interlock switch on chute or hopper doors and gates? Is there a "momentary contact" control required?
Power Source - Is adequate power available? Three or single phase?
Convenience - Is the compactor located for easiest use? Loading height? Can a hopper, doghouse (charge box enclosure) or cart dumping system improve convenience? Can value be added (building or employee security) by loading through the wall? Would an Ozone Odor Control System solve odor or pest control problems?
Location - Does, or can, the waste flow to one central point?
Available Space - Is there space for the compaction system and maneuvering room for collection trucks? Is there adequate over-head clearance? Is the collection truck front-load or rear-load? Is there compatibility with the collection truck? Check out the dimensional data chart: Dimensional Data
Installation / Service Question
Answer: While Marathon compactors and balers are built to withstand all elements and provide many years of reliable service, some weather environments can provide problems for your system. One particular case is flooding, caused by heavy rains and severe storms.
If your equipment experiences a high volume of exposure to water, especially if the unit is submerged, you must take precautionary steps to ensure that your equipment is in working condition before you resume operation.
The electrical system must be checked for water buildup in any junction boxes, Sealtite connections, or other places water might accumulate. Remove any water using absorption methods or low heat fans. After all water has been removed, check the wiring using a continuity meter to ensure that electrical connections are stable and working properly. Repair any connections that are damaged and replace any wiring or components that have become unsafe or unusable.
NOTE: Remember, the presence of water, an electrical conductor, can make electricity even more deadly. Please practice necessary Lock out/Tag out methods as outlined in your Operations, Maintenance, and Installation manual provided to you.
Your hydraulic system should be immediately checked if exposure to water occurs. A sample of the hydraulic fluid should be sent to a certified hydraulics center to be tested for contamination. If water is present in your system, cease operations until the fluid can be removed, the system flushed, and new AW 46 fluid in the correct amount is added to your equipment. Water can cause severe damage to all hydraulic components because of the variances in viscosity and density.
If you take these steps to ensure that your equipment has not been affected by the water exposure, you can be certain that your equipment will continue to provide reliable service.
Benefits of Compaction:
- Improves housekeeping by containing waste in an enclosed container which also controls rodents
- Cuts inventory shrinkage by curbing employee pilferage
- Reduces disposal fees by compressing a lot of waste requiring fewer container pulls
- Reduces fire hazard by containing waste in a container rather than in the open air
- Saves on insurance premiums
- Requires less space for storage of solid waste
- Controls pests and odor problems
- Eliminates odor problems with Marathon's ozone generator
- Reduces labor costs
We recommend one of the following:
A. Union- Unax-46, Unax-AW46 B. Gulf- Harmony 47, Harmony 48-AW C. Exxon- Teresstic 46, Nuto 46 D. Texaco- AW46 E. Shell- Turbo 46, Tellus 46 F. Quaker State- Dextron llA G. Citgo- Pacemaker 46, Tellus-AW46 H. Amoco-(Rycon)
The following are some of the optional controls for all Marathon compactors. Contact the factory for cutomize products:
SUSTAINED MANUAL PRESSURE CONTROL BUTTON (Hold-To-Run, Release-To-Stop) - This option requires the compactor operator to remain at the push button station while the compactor is in use. Actuation requires depressing the "Hold-To-Run" and "Start" buttons. After the unit has started, the "Start" button is released. If the "Hold-To-Run" button is released, the unit will stop instantly.
CONTAINER FULL LIGHT - When the light is on, the container is full and is ready to be emptied before its next use. To deactivate the light, depress the illuminated emergency stop button. (The unit will not run while the light is on.)
ADVANCE WARNING LIGHT - When the light is on, the container is nearing the full level and a pick up call should be made. At this time 200 PSI is left before the pressure switch is activated to shut the unit off and container is full. (Unit will run with light on.)
RAM STOP FORWARD - When a machine with this option has been stopped, the ram automatically begins to move rearward when restarted. To reverse the ram while it is stopped, depress the key switch. The ram will retract and then go forward.
CYCLE TIMER - This option is used when more than one cycle is desired. The factory setting is for three strokes (adjustable).
ACCESS INTERLOCK - This is optional with units equipped with doors, chutes, or access gates. It prevents the unit from operating while a door or gate is open.
PHOTOELECTRIC CYCLE CONTROL - Consists of a LED light source and a reflector. It can be mounted on a hopper or chute. Two holes, located so as to prevent any hazard, are located in opposite walls of the chute. When the light beam is blocked for 15 seconds, the compactor is activated and will continue to run until the obstruction has been cleared.
AUTOMATIC SHUTDOWN - Used with the photoelectric cycle control. This option has a timer that can be set up to 30 minutes. If a blockage in the charge chamber causes the compactor to continue cycling, the timer will shut the compactor down after the preset time has passed. To deactivate the timer, the illuminated pushbutton is pressed after clearing the blockage.
THERMOSTATICALLY CONTROLLED OIL HEATER - This option is installed in the oil reservoir. The thermostat can be adjusted so the heater will heat the oil when the oil temperature goes below the preset level.
JOG CONTROL STATION - This control station is located on the compactor on the discharge end. When the container is to be emptied, the driver inserts a key and switches the compactor to "Bypass" mode so that the charge box can be cleared. The jog control station also has an OFF position so that all compactor controls can be deactivated while the container is being emptied.
Here are a few things you can do to trouble-shoot this problem:
- Check the hydraulic hoses that connect the power pack to the packer body and make sure they are hooked up
- Check the disconnect. Is it on?
- Press the reset button on the motor starter.
- If the machine has a jog control switch verify that the key switch is in the "REMOTE" position.
- If the Emergency Stop switch is a maintained push/pull switch, press and then pull to the out position.
- Check fuses
- Do you have voltage?
Here are a few things you can do to trouble-shoot this problem:
Check to make sure the motor is rotating in the correct direction?
- Make sure the pump shaft turning.
- Make sure the hydraulic reservoir full of oil?
Baling Application Site Survey
It is reasonably easy to misapply a baling machine or place it an area that does not benefit the customer. Your local dealer or NEXGEN Regional Sales Manager will help guide you through the selection and location process to assure you are getting the best choice of equipment, layout, and to fit within your budget requirements.
The process of gathering all the pertinent information is very important. The following is a list of basic questions that need to be answered before the right model and location for your application can be determined:
- What do you plan to bale?
- What is the largest size of the majority of the material?
- How much material will be baled at the busiest hour?
- How will the baler be fed?
- How will the bales be stored?
- What is the shipping method?
- Is there a maximum weight to achieve on the shipping conveyance?
- Will the bales be tied manually or automatically?
- What language will be used in operating and servicing baler?
- Is a telephone line nearby?
By answering the above, you have given the information necessary to offer a few baler choices or ideas. Now the infrastructure to support the recommendation needs to be considered:
- Is there adequate room for the baler? Considering the space required for the baler is only a small part of the total space required. What about room for the feeding apparatus (conveyor, air system, cart dumper or loader)? Is there room to eject and handle the bales?
- Check ceiling height as well as width and length of the space.
- Is there adequate door height to bring the unit into the building?
- Will the floor support the weight of the recommended equipment?
- What is the available voltage and can the machine can be started across-the-line?
- Will the location of the equipment be close to where the material is generated and/or shipped?
Answer: Preferred dimensions of the concrete pad are 10'-0" wide and a length of 5'-0" greater than the length of the compactor and container. It should be of minimum 3,000 PSI concrete steel reinforced, 6" thick. It is preferred that the concrete pad be flush with the surrounding ground level. Note: Containers with four ground rollers must be installed on a level pad.
To provide accessibility, concrete pad should be positioned to allow 2'-0" between machine and building wall if installed parallel with building. Allow a minimum of 45' of clear space from end of pad for container handling vehicle.
Note: The clearances given are minimums. Your installation may require greater clearances depending on the site and the hauling equipment that will be used.
Answer: The compactor should be anchored to concrete pad using a minimum of four (4) 3/4" x 6" long anchor bolts. These bolts can be secured to concrete pad using "Porok" or special concrete anchors. It is best if these holes are drilled in the concrete after pre-locating the compactor in its desired location. Holes in the leg plates are 1-5/16" Dia. to permit the use of a 1-1/8" Dia. concrete bit. The 1-1/8" Dia. holes in the concrete should be approximately 5" deep. When the compactor has been permanently located, shimmed to compensate for unevenness, and anchor bolts set, tighten all nuts securely. Optional container guides should be anchored in an identical manner, spacing between guides determined by rail spacing of the container.
Corporate Offices, Domestic & International
P.O. Box 1798 Vernon, AL
Marathon Equipment Company
Corporate Phone Numbers
Toll Free: 800-633-8974
Parts Department- Parts1Stop:
Toll Free: 800-633-8974 Ext. 8033
Technical Service Department:
Toll Free: 800-633-8974 Ext. 8034
Sales & Marketing: